Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

AOL Raids Conde Nast For New Moviefone Editor

AOL has a new editor for movie ticket portal Moviefone: Vanity Fair web boss Michael Hogan.

Hogan will take the spot last occupied by Patricia Chui, who was fired by AOL in April.

Hogan, who starts his new job June 26, will wear multiple hats: His official title is “Executive Features Editor”, and his duties also include running AOL TV. But his initial focus will be on Moviefone, which he wants to overhaul.

“We really want to take it from something that is successful as a ticket selling site, and try to make it into a robust gathering place for people who follow the movie industry and people who love movies,” he said. Hogan said he’ll hire fulltime editors and writers to beef up content on the site.

AOL fired Hogan’s predecessor after she distributed a memo informing Moviefone freelancers that their contracts were ending, but that they could contribute to the site as unpaid volunteers. Chui’s defenders said she had been treated unfairly by AOL, which was in the process of overhauling all of its editorial teams after acquiring the Huffington Post.

Hogan says he’s comfortable that any controversy  surrounding Chui’s departure has dissipated. “I talked to the folks there about that situation, and I understood where everybody was coming from,” he said.

Hogan became editor of in 2008; his most recent title was executive digital editor. (Disclosure: I’ve done freelance work for Vanity Fair in the past and am working on a project for the magazine now.)

Here’s a farewell bouquet from Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, via email: “I’ve had the pleasure of watching Michael Hogan hone his editorial skills over the past thirteen years from the assistant’s desk to being head of our digital team. I told him when I moved him to the website, that if he did his job well, he wouldn’t be working for me in three years. He beat the deadline. And he will be missed.”

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle